not going to tell you that perhaps nothing of all this would have happened if you yourself had behaved differently with me. . . . Of course, I alone am to blame, my self-confidence has been my ruin; I am deservedly punished, and you could not have anticipated it. Of course you did not consider that it would have been far less dangerous for me if you had not been so keenly alive to your wrong . . . your supposed wrong to me; and had not wished to make up for it . . . but what's done can't be undone. I only wanted to make clear my position to you; it 's hard enough as it is. . . . But at least there will be, as you say, no misunderstanding, while the openness of my confession will soften, I hope, the feeling of offence which you cannot but feel.'
Litvinov spoke without raising his eyes, but even if he had glanced at Irina, he could not have seen what was passing in her face, as she still as before kept her hands over her eyes. But what was passing over her face meanwhile would probably have astounded him; both alarm and delight were apparent on it, and a kind of blissful helplessness and agitation; her eyes hardly glimmered under their overhanging lids, and her slow, broken breathing was chill upon her lips, that were parted as though with thirst. . .